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Home » Islam Makhachev vs Alexander Volkanovski – Mental Performance Takeaways

Islam Makhachev vs Alexander Volkanovski – Mental Performance Takeaways


    Yesterday I witnessed one of the most amazing UFC fights I’ve seen with Islam Makhachev vs Alexander Volkanovski. Congrats to Islam Makhachev for the win by decision.

    As a mental performance coach and 4 x Australian Memory Sports Champion, I couldn’t help myself but study each fighter’s move for weeks leading into and during the fight.

    Here are my takeaways:

    – Never underestimate confidence. It’s power in its own right.
    – Never second guess yourself. Alexander in his post match conference stated there were certain occasions he second guessed himself and if he hadn’t, thing’s may have been different.
    – There are no guarantees. You could be the absolute best, but still end up losing. As was the case with Alexander as the pound for pound number 1 fighter.

    No matter how well you plan and visualise success, you still have to go through the actual match/game/the actual event. Mike Tyson said it best, “Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the mouth.” It’s how you keep control mentally that can make or break.

    Mental control can include things like:

    – Strategy – thinking clearly enough to problem solve and make decisions in split seconds.
    – Bigger picture understanding – Alexander was losing towards the final round and knew he had to go hard. Unfortunately, that didn’t come until the last minute.
    – Concentration and focus. How affected are you by internal and external factors.


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